Tales of A Thousand Words

1000.jpgI’m almost done with my anthology of short stories.  As the collection evolved, the name changed as well – from Loving, Living and Lying to Tales of A Thousand Words – and it might change again, lol.  I am herewith sharing with you my first draft – I’m usually too excited to edit, so forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes you will find as you go along.

Apologies, the stories have been removed.  Watch this space for publication notice.


 Like many I suppose, I have always been fascinated by rich cultures that colour our continent.  Many contemporary authors have written about Africa, but instead focus on themselves in Africa. With this anthology I have decided to tread were many have tried.  This collection talks about Tanzania, its cultures and its people.

As anywhere else – there are usually spectrums of cultural groups – in Tanzania we have the typically Swahili culture on one hand, which is so vibrant, alive and colourful – full of drama and music here  one enjoys the udi perfume, the delicious pilau dishes, listening to taarab, dancing to njenje, and hands and feet peppered with henna design. 

On the other hand, we have the cosmopolitan culture – almost avant-garde – they will go to Western spas, have dinners and drinks at 5-star establishments, go clubbing at up-scale clubs, throw brunch parties, enjoy quiz and karaoke nights, have pastas and salads and go to goat races.

The Swahili culture, which is by far the more vivacious and expressive – as far as I am concerned – is unfortunately not that much practiced among the new generation who have experienced ‘western’ type lifestyles.  As such, many find themselves ‘unconsciously’ losing their roots and sense of belonging. 

This anthology, however, will not address this problem.  My collection of short stories look at both of these worlds – the Tanzanians of today – their traumas and triumphs as they tackle this journey of life as they live and love, and maybe lie too while at it.  Despite the challenges and traumas, there are many good things in this anthology – the lessons learnt being one of them.  The challenge here was to have each story have only a thousand words – no more, no less – hence the title of the collection.




While problematic issues, everyday gossip, familial tensions are all the core of this collection, relationships and locations are just as important.  The common feature in all the short stories is an enveloping atmosphere of the unsurely, betrayal and doubts we see deep into our souls when taking this journey called life.

Despite the difference in the cultures – these two so-called worlds are what make Tanzania beautiful and rich and make her go round.  

Sandra A. Mushi

Dar es Salaam

June 2007


~ by saharasoulfood on April 4, 2008.

23 Responses to “Tales of A Thousand Words”

  1. Good work Sandra. Keep it up!

  2. Thank you, Mwandani! I presume you read all the stories? Phew! Not that long, so they shouldn’t frighten you!

  3. Wow! that’s quiet a collection…intend to read everyone of them asap.

  4. :Serina, karibu sana. Do review the stories please, would love to know what you think.

  5. Started the reading…not done yet and seems like I’m hooked…don’t think I’ll buy any more books…you rock at what you do.

  6. :Serina, aksante sana. So which one did you like?

  7. They are all so different it’s hard to pick a favorite…the plate of ugali actually got me thinking of how sweet revenge can be….literally:)

  8. Excellent! Realistically painful especially for Lelo but still a fact! With facts you positively change attitudes!!

  9. Sandra, I cannot wait until the opportunity arises to purchase your collection! I have only read one of the stories so far, but trust me when I say that I am hooked and I will be reading them all! You have done yourself proud.
    Merry Christmas!

  10. Stupid woman! felt like getting a nail file from the beginning and get that man in order…chipped nails on enamel! love how you bring words to life. Captivating…but sadly, a real scenario.
    Thankful that you also deal with issues such as child labor/sex slaves…it still goes on despite the UN convention on Rights of the Child. Thank you for the beautiful writing and for sharing it.

  11. Hey Sandra! there is one Sandra I knew through my friend Consolata Mushi whom we went to school together at Msalato High School Dodoma is that you! If it is you am very proud of you! she used to talk a lot of you ‘she is very creative’ Consolata used to say!

  12. Hi Sandra? i don’t say any thing for you because i know you in and out. Thank you.

  13. Dear Sandrs,

    I don’t have time to read them, but I promise I will make time!! The titles are already wonderfull!!!!

  14. Dear Sandra,

    I don’t have time to read them yet, but I promise I will make time!! The titles are already wonderfull!!!!

  15. […] apologize for being silent.  I have been busy with my anthology of short stories – https://saharasoulfood.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/tales-of-a-thousand-words/.  I must say I am quite happy with […]

  16. […] apologize for being silent.  I have been busy with my anthology of short stories – Tales of A Thousand Words.  I must say I am quite happy with […]

  17. Sandra, am very sad that i cant air my vews about your stories in authors den, everytime i write a comment they say i have reached my dairly limit, jamani kumbe kuna limit ya kusoma na kutoa view zangu…sikujua nanasikitika sana, Sasa nambie nifanyeje? nataka kutoa maoni hasa hili la red cocks and black goat, hebu mbie nifanyeje sasa?

  18. Sandra, i have just read her mother’s daughter…ooh my Gosh,i kind of gueessed the outcome but still i was shocked to see it was so….shamefull bastard, and they are many out there…thinking they are having fun while in truth they are having sex with their daughters…
    Sandra i salute u my sister, this is more than a talent.
    Hongera sana, icant stop reading, i think am nearly finishing them…….keep writting baby

  19. @Angeline: hmmm … didn’t know that. Hembu try signing in using a different name and e-mail address. I’m teaching you ujambazi,lol. I’m really glad you liked them. Once done theck out the Chagga series on this blog, lol. Thank you so much for the support. Wape your friends the link basi.

  20. Sandra, i have read all the Chagga serious so far, i even joked with my best friend who is chagga, he confirms that wha you are writting is true, he also adds some other things which are very interesting. well am done with your 71 short stories,am a story monger you know, i just wish i couldnt concentrate in my studies as am doing in stories.
    wishing you success Sandra

  21. sorry, i just wish i COULD (not couldnt) concentrate in my studies as i do in this short stories and novels.

  22. Sandra,
    This time i got through.I loved Jasmine.Your stories are so cutting.They are not gentle .They give the bare truth.They are naked.They expose bone.They are transparent.Not sheer gossamer but pure revealing X-ray.They are real.Someone has to capture treality for us to reflect otherwise writing has no meaning.You are doing it keep on doing it.And we love you for it.You are inspiring you got talent.I wish you the very best gal you keep on truckin’!

  23. Sandra,

    I read “Nine Months Ago” last night. I like the use of “nine months ago,” “six months ago,” etc., making the reader think she knows that the fate of the protagonist will be the age-old unwanted pregnancy. Surprise (even mild) is always good especially in a short-short story. One critcism: I know that you haven’t yet edited thoroughly, but the misuse of pronouns (e.g. “I’ll fire you” instead of “I’ll fire her”) can be confusing. Overall, you’re very talented. I always want to read more. All of your stories that I’ve read so far are about abused women or women who turn to prostitution (the two may be equivalent); is Tanzania so full of sad stories?

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